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Harris Jayaraj is composing the music, his third with Jayam Ravi and his first with A.L Vijay, who isn't working with his regular composer G.V Prakash Kumar for the first time. See more »
The UK release was cut, the distributor chose to remove shots of strong violence in order to obtain a 12A classification. An uncut 15 classification was available. See more »
A very promising subject diluted by commercial elements
This is another one of those movies which I wanted to catch up just for the lead hero - Jayam Ravi. This movie uses a good subject of tribal livelihood as its backdrop.
The story revolves around Jara (Jayam Ravi), a member of a tribe based in Andaman. He lands up in Chennai through Kavya (Sayeesha), a cold-hearted businesswoman. When the Andaman police manage to get him back to Andaman, Jara finds out that his whole tribe have been displaced from their home as the property was required for some industrial project and that the tribal community is under hiding somewhere nearby. Does Jara manage to reunite with his group and retain their livelihood or not forms the rest of the story.
The displacement of tribals from their livelihoods, leading to their population decrease is the core subject of this movie, which has to be appreciated. The end credits scenes indicate that scenario very well and the attempt is sincere from director Vijay. Another good message conveyed by Vijay is the extent to which humans have become materialistic and thereby, living an inhuman life.
The same cannot be said for the execution though. There isn't too much focus on the tribals' lives and their struggles, barring about 30 mins in the 2nd half. The other portions involved the heroine to a large extent. The last 30 minutes were an absolute drag. The climax, in particular, was below average to say the least. Instead of going a bit more in depth into the life and struggles of tribals, the story was diluted with a lot of commercial elements like romance portions and duet songs.
One of the biggest positives in Vanamagan is Jayam Ravi. Man, this guy is a terrific actor and he's proved it here too. The challenge in this role was that there are hardly any dialogues for him and all the emoting had to be done through his eyes. He has aced in all aspects and is completely convincing as a tribal person. The scene where Jara, getting back to his forest home, expresses his happiness is a sure standout.
Sayeesha's character's importance is shown only towards the end and till then she's shown as the usual Tamil Cinema heroine, who's used for song and romance portions. She has done a decent job with the emoting and lip sync. Her dance is fantastic though. Prakash Raj neither has a challenging nor important role and he just aces through the character. Thambi Ramaiah entertains at few places with his timing.
Coming to the musical aspect in Harris Jeyaraj's 50th movie, certain songs are praiseworthy both in terms of music and picturisation. The visuals for Silu Silu song is the pick of the lot for me as it shows the lifestyle of the tribals in the most natural manner. Yamma Hey Azhagamma impresses with its choreography and the lead chemistry, but its placement is questionable. The Pachai Uduthiya number during the last half and hour was an absolute waste. The BGM, to me, wasn't at Harris' level, barring a couple of tunes like the Silu Silu BGM. The CGI was also patchy at most places.
Overall, Vanamagan is a movie that had a lot of potential but was ruined to a good extent in the execution department. But if you're bored, then this film can be given a shot just once just for the stellar performance of Jayam Ravi.
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